Pedi - Settlements



In preconquest times, people settled on elevated sites in relatively large villages, divided into dikgoro, groups centered around agnatic family clusters. Each consisted of a group of households dwelling in huts built around a central area that served as a meeting place, a cattle byre, a graveyard, and an ancestral shrine. Households' huts were ranked in order of seniority. Each wife of a polygynous marriage had her own round thatched hut, joined to other huts by a series of open-air enclosures encircled by mud walls. Separate huts housed the older boys and the older girls. Practical demands, and aspirations to live in a more modern style, have led many families to abandon the round hut for rectangular houses with flat tin roofs. In addition, as a result of forced and semivoluntary relocation, as well as of a government planning scheme implemented in the name of "betterment," many newer settlements and the outskirts of many older ones consist of houses built in grid formation, occupied by individual families unrelated to their neighbors.


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